We have all heard of the need to be active but why
is it important? You body is a machine that needs to be active. The
worse thing you can do is be inactive. Your body adjusts to your
level of activity. Not unlike letting a car sit for long periods of
time, which is the worse thing you can do for a car, your body
Have you ever been in a hospital for a period of
time or broken a bone? To heal, often what you have to do is
immobilize the injured body part for an extended period of time.
Even after a week the muscles in that part of your body start to
adjust to the inactivity and literally deteriorate. The first thing
you have to do as soon as you can is to start using that part of
your body to build up the muscles again.
When I was 18, I broke my hand resulting in
several major surgeries over a period of months. It was damaged
badly enough to require splint on my hand and I had to carry it in a
sling. I could not use it for weeks and months. Let's say it was
pretty tough to drive my Mustang with stick shift. When I was
finally healed and able to use it again, all the muscles in my arms
atrophied. It took me additional months to build up those muscles
again. I had to do specific weight training from my shoulder and
back down to and including the muscles in my hand. This was my
introduction to weight training.
The same thing happens when you are inactive in
your lifestyle. If you do not challenge your body, if you spend your
time in front of a TV or computer, when you need to walk up those
stairs or in that mall, you won't be able to. You are in training
for the rest of your life. If you can't walk up those stairs now
what on earth makes you think you will be able to do it as you get
It is even more basic than that. As you get older,
you lose support muscles for the major muscles in your body from
lack of use. You need those support muscles to do things like walk
and balance yourself. That is a real good reason Yoga and Tai Chi
are so valuable as you get older. What good is it to live long if
you can't do anything?
You don't have to be a marathon runner to be
active. Simple walking is a great and practical exercise. Your body
is designed to be active. When it isn't active, it does not function
properly. Your blood doesn't flow as well. Your muscles atrophy.
Food doesn't digest as well. You don't think as clearly.
So what can you do to be active? Keep it simple
so you do it.